Our School

image of SAS assembly

Welcome to SAS High School!

Northshore School District's commitment to serve the need for alternative learning opportunities for its students is evident at Secondary Academy for Success (SAS). SAS serves grades 9–12, embracing students whose learning styles require different instructional approaches who need or want an alternative setting to the large comprehensive high school.

Our students expect and embrace the culture at SAS where their number one job is getting down to the business of education.

SAS received the OSPI Lighthouse award in 2012 and was named a Green Ribbon school by the Department of Education in 2011, both awards in recognition for their curriculum centering on creating and sustaining a green environment.

Donna Tyo,
Alternative Programs

SAS History

Around 1970, Clifford P. Johnson was appointed by Julian Karp as the district's first (and only) minority studies coordinator. In the 1970-80 decade, Superintendent Karp also initiated full-time elementary librarians, full-time elementary PE teachers and a vocational education coordinator as well as the minority studies coordinator. C.P. Johnson then went on to establish the initial SAS.

   C.P., as he was affectionately known, put together the Special Assignment School for students who didn't fit into a standard high school studies mold. The first ones received a specially tailored curriculum outline for their studies, much like the special education students did a decade later. Superintendent Karp's goal was to keep them in school and not become a dropout....and ultimately, to graduate with a diploma.

   Later, Jerry Nelson was principal, followed by Dr. Len Fellez. By at least 1989, it was known as Secondary Alternative School, and that may have been Dr. Fellez's doing.

- by Terri Malinowski

Why SAS Works

By Josh 

When it seemed like I was ready to drop out of High School, my mom had reminded me that I’m the family’s last resort to graduate high school. Neither of my sisters had graduated from high school, nor have any of my cousins on both sides of the family. So knowing that I came from a family of dropouts, it made me feel determined to show my family that I’m going to make something of myself.

Coming to SAS is probably one the best life decisions I’ve ever made. I decided to just transfer from Bothell High School to SAS instead of dropping out of high school. I decided that graduating high school was my main priority so I can have the education I need to go to college. 

SAS teachers are the best teachers I have ever had in my whole educational career. The teachers here know how to work with the students in different ways so it’s easier for us students to understand everything we would be learning at any high school.

Some of the smartest people in the world decided that school wasn’t for them, but really all they needed was just a different way of learning. Nikola Tesla questioned the importance of his education and dropped out of college. Thomas Edison literally educated himself and only visited Cooper Union. These two men are why we have electricity today and they don’t even have a college degree. Now, imagine if both of them would have graduated with a college degree and tried to be smarter than they already were. SAS works because it gives smart kids the opportunity to make it to college so we can be something great in this world instead of just high school dropouts. 

Reports & Demographics

Mission Statement 

Strive - Accomplish - Succeed 

To continue our leadership role in expanding alternative learning opportunities for Northshore secondary students. To assure SAS students develop the skills and ability to discover and create their possible self through purposeful work and meaningful enrichment opportunities. 

Community Partnering

SAS is part of the state and national green school projects partnering with McKinstry Corporation, a local leader in creating energy efficient buildings. McKinstry is involved with SAS staff to provide curricular opportunities for students to learn more about the skills required for the jobs available in the high demand area of sustainable development.

SAS also works in tandem with the State Department of Education to implement projects in our school to improve our “Green.”

SAS received the OSPI Lighthouse award in 2012 and was named a Green Ribbon school by the Department of Education in 2011, both awards in recognition for their curriculum centering on creating and sustaining a green environment.